Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Spanish sylvestris

 Some work I carried out at the weekend for Alex. Originally from David Benevente's garden. This sylvestris lost its way health wise but it recovered well with Davids support.

Because it had just been allowed to grow, there where many branches with whorls of shoots. I more or less pruned it back and selected for bifurcation. 

I tried to keep it as true to Davids original styling but had to make space for light to reach the lowest branch as its under the canopy. Enjoyed working on this tree.

Tree when Alex bought it from David.

4 years later

Lots of back budding but many multiple whorls of branches.

All branches were cleaned out to just two shoots or branches.

Just this years foliage was left.

About 50% removed

Tree thinned and ready for wiring. Primaries didn't need wiring. 2.5 mm copper and smaller sizes only

And the finished result. Was a pleasure re working this tree.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Kishu Juniper restyle.

Finished wiring and restyling this juniper for a customer today. Originally this tree was presented as a very nice and unusual semi cascade tree. It was purchased and the new owner decided to change it to informal upright.
It was then sold on again in quite poor condition and has spent last year regaining health.
Looking at the trunk line I felt there was a more dynamic tree within. The previous design had an almost static appearance with a right left bias. I felt the tree going the other way.
I have just set the bones at the moment and as the foliage settles down in a year or two, more separation and definition will be possible.
Original tree
Second evolution 
  Tree un wired and thinned slightly

Change of angle increases dynamism of the trunk in my opinion.
As mentioned at the top, more development needed now bones have been set. The full image makes the tree appear younger and smaller. More negative space and smaller foliage clouds will be developed.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Itoigawa Juniper shohin

Restyling work carried out on a small Itoigawa juniper for a customer. First two pictures its first styling in Poland by someone else.
                         First image
I wasnt keen on the line chosen. Too many (close to) horizontal and vertical lines
By changing the orientation the deadwood becomes dynamic.

I wanted to open the tree right up as venerable and ancient trees have lots of separation. 
Final result

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Small Prunus Mume (Apricot)

Yesterday's work carried out on a customers Japanese Apricot. I'm guessing it was field grown and to get it sizeable enough for sale, sacrificial branches were allowed to extend to thicken the trunk. On the downside this leaves a lot of unsightly flat cuts and a little dieback. I was asked to make the cuts a ltitle mere like natural deadwood. This is quite often seen on old Cherry varieties.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sorry for the long break. Normal updates will resume as in the past.

Monday, January 26, 2015

First workshop at my new house

Sorry I haven't been posting for a while but with moving house I have been quite busy.
Last weekend my good friend Simon Haddon came up for the weekend and we spent Saturday refining the deadwood and restyling an Elm tree. This is my third time working on this tree and it has grown well in his care. The first pic is how it was finished after I used it to demo at the Maidstone bonsai club.

The tree had it's second working at Burrs 2013. The tree was block carved and rewired. Last Saturday we gave it a good prune and I refined the carving. The orientation and a new front were also chosen. Simon working on the tree.

The carving was refined

Then the tree was restyled. Although the deadwood is now the focus of this tree, I do not usually advocate this in deciduous trees as the deadwood is transient and will not last like junipers or Pines with a high resin content. This tree does however have excellent movement and the hollow will make an excellent feature also.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weekend workshop in Cheshire April 2014

After the first and very successful workshop at Simon Jones house in Cheshire last year, arrangements were made for number 2 and last weekend we got cracking on some trees. I arrived on the Friday lunchtime and we worked on a couple of Simons trees. Si is very kind hearted and offered me a couple of stuunning Blackthorns. As a thankyou and as Si also had a big connection with Steve (Harleyrider) Jackson, I thought it fitting that he took over Steve's tree. We spent an hour or so working on the flat cuts

A closer picture of the straight cuts to be carved.
First one done and the smaller one hollowed for callous to form
Small hole looks a little like a Barn Owls face

Around the back

This is a pot I made a few years back and gave to Simon on the last visit
Suits the Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) quite well

A Crataegus monogyna deadwood that needed a little depth 
Not too much work as there is a lot going on in this space

First morning of the workshop. Once everyone had arrived we discussed each tree, what would improve it and just generally bounced ideas about

A shari was added to draw the eye from the straight section of trunk, a few branches on the right were removed and the angle of next planting was changed.

Mark's rather large raft style Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium?
Both the large trunks were reduced and block carved. Refining the deadwood will be carried out in the Summer.
Hawthorn (Crataegus)
I added chalk marks to those trees that needed carving. Most work was carried out by students with my guidance unless I was showing a particular technique
Johns Privet with topsoil removed to look for a decent base
Again, the wood will harden before refinement
There were 10 of us on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. All had bags of enthusiasm.

A huge Larch (Larix) with some huge issues

The really thick right branch and the straight top were removed to make a very sinuous semi cascade. The roots are fantastic.
Simon caught twice doing some work

Some of his beautiful collected Blackthorn. All growing well and 2 with my name on.

Next workshop is set for August this year and I'm looking forward to it. Well done to Simon for organising this great event.